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McPherson Peak, Peak Mountain

3 January 1999

By: Joe Young

Leaders: Joe Young, Bobcat Thompson

Eighteen hikers, including the leaders, met at the Sylmar rideshare point at 6:00 AM for this event. After consolidation, the group caravanned north on I-5, down into thick tule fog to Hwy 166, then west on 166 to the second intersection with hwy 33. From there we caravanned to the Aliso Rd 2.8 mi west of New Cuyama, then south. However, we all failed to see an important intersection and drove too far. John Connelly (and others) recognized that we had missed the turn and we backtracked. At about 8:50 AM we arrived at Aliso Park.

Joe began leading the hike at about 9:15 AM, but he hurriedly passed by the trail leading from the campground and instead started up the jeep trail heading south, stopping at a locked gate and soon was made aware of his error. Joe then led the group back to the campground, found the trail, and started up the steep trail at 9:45 AM. The sky was clear and temps cool.

Joe led the group at a reasonable pace for 2-1/2 hours, then slowed to an unacceptable pace about 1/2 mile from the summit of McPherson. Bobcat took over leadership for the rest of the day. We arrived on the sunny summit of McPherson at about 12:45 PM. We stayed on the summit until 1:15 PM.

At about 2:30 PM we arrived on the summit of Peak Mtn. We enjoyed its well-hidden register for fifteen minutes, then began the return to McPherson. We returned to the summit of McPherson shortly after 4:00 PM. Nearing 4:15 PM Bobcat led a swift descent in order to hike with as much daylight, or at least dusk light, as possible. At about 5:50 PM we arrived at Aliso campground, and in about 25 minutes all vehicles had departed for home. Before we left some of us agreed to stop at the Buckhorn Cafe in New Cuyama; however, when we drove by the restaurant was closed. Furthermore, to avoid driving through the dense tule fog again, three vehicles drove back via the Cerro Noroeste Rd/Mil Potrero Rd/Frazier Park Rd to I-5. When we reached the "Y", that is, the intersection of the Lockwood Valley Rd and the Mil Potrero Rd in L.0.W. (AKA Lake of the Woods), we noticed that the Pizzeria was still open (now about 7:30 PM). Nine of the group stopped and ordered two large pizzas and numerous beers and other beverages. Service was good and we all enjoyed the pizzas. The total tab, not including tip, was only $40!

The vehicles returned to Sylmar before 9:15 PM. Allowing for reconvening at the intersection of highways 166 and 33 in the morning as well as the missed turn, the trip time was probably about 2-1/4 hours. George Wysup reported that his odometer had registered 120 miles from Sylmar to Aliso campground. Allowing for about an hour for dinner, the return via L.0.W. took about 2 hours. Joe's odometer registered about 110 miles from Aliso to Sylmar.

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